Cycleway ‘absolute mess’
Roadworks for a council $16 million-dollar cycleway are hitting businesses hard in Northcote Pt for the sake of a handful of cyclists, outraged owners say.
Auckland Transport’s project has resulted in traffic being diverted, and business entrances being blocked off, along the main road, Queen St.
‘‘It’s millions of dollars for a cycleway that is useless, because no one can cycle over the [Auckland Harbour] bridge Bridgeway cinema’s Christodoulou said.
The arthouse cinema has lost ‘‘thousands’’ in revenue due to power cuts and other construction disruptions, he said. Auckland Transport never approached businesses and there has been a total lack of communication, he added.
Billy Cafe owner Sarah Stratford said her business was ‘‘caged off’’ from the street, which has resulted in 66 per cent loss in revenue yet,’’ Steve on her worst days.
‘‘It’s just an absolute mess and we see no hope,’’ she said.
The Northcote Safe Cycle Route project involves improving footpaths and cycle lanes along a 5.2-kilometre stretch of the area’s roads. It started in April and was due to finish in May 2018.
Simon Mackenzie, owner of two wine bars and a cafe on Queen St, said the works had an impact, especially with a loss of outdoor seating.
Blikfang gallery’s Janie Duneas said the business is a ‘‘destination’’ and, if there was no parking, people have to leave. The historic street looks ‘‘naked’’ now because of all the trees they have cut down, she added.
Bike Auckland’s Steve Southall said the organisation supported safe-cycling projects and denied plans for SkyPath were a driver. However, Southall acknowledged the impact on businesses and said, on his group’s next ride, they would stop at Billy’s Cafe, in a show of appreciation for their sacrifice.
Auckland Transport’s Mark Hannan said work on the Queen St section will finish in February 2018, adding two rounds of public consultation were done in 2014 and 2016.
Northcote Pt resident Jeremy Richards said in these consultations the residents ‘‘just have not been listened to’’. A petition with 1600 signatures told AT it shouldn’t go ahead with the construction. ‘‘No one is happy. It’s a lose, lose, lose situation.’’
Northcote Pt’s Janie Duneas, Matt Rollinson and Simon Mackenzie say Queen St businesses are losing significant revenue because of work on a controversial cycleway.